Who doesn’t love a fresh start? A new beginning, no mistakes, no regrets, just hope for what’s ahead stretching as far as your mind and heart can see. A new job, a new move, a new relationship, new opportunities. That’s the reason the new year fills gyms everywhere, there’s a new starting point, the chance to write a new story on a blank page. There is a fresh resolve to tackle that vice that the year before seemed too far gone. Sadly, it doesn’t take long for the fresh start to be marred with a fresh donut or pizza because life happened and caught you off guard. After that it seems pointless to continue.
I love the first snow fall of the year, it blankets the ground, sparkles in the sun, and shows no footprints or signs of being disturbed. It’s beautiful to look at, until my kids go out to play. There are snowmen, forts, small hills created for a stab at sledding, and dead grass peeking through. When they were small and I had the power to keep them inside, I would, for as long as I could put up with the whining, so I could enjoy the look of our yard undisturbed. I know, more snow falls throughout the winter but after the first, it only fills in the footprints and covers the snow creations, tries to hide the twigs and grass sticking up, it doesn’t actually go back to the original spotless beauty.
I’ve found relationships to be this way. You begin with great expectations and it doesn’t take long before disillusionment enters in. Something happens or a word is spoken that stings and changes the outlook you have. It can cause us to pull away, to react in ways that isolates us. We build walls to protect ourselves, and in the end, keep out the very people who are to shape us and help us in our quest for godly character. Like the case of freshly fallen snow, we can restore those relationships but sometimes the old things are just covered, the form of them are still evident.
When we woke up on January first and I said “Happy New Year!” to my seven year old, she was rather disappointed. “It doesn’t feel any different than last year!” And she was right. It was just the same as last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. In fact, it was the same as the day before. Every day is a fresh start, a new opportunity to grow, to blossom, to spread hope and encouragement. It’s a new opportunity to repair relationships, to accomplish something you never thought you could, to begin the journey to a dream that has laid dormant waiting for the perfect moment.
It’s not a specific day that gives us fresh hope, fresh vision, or fresh resolve. The very thing that offers us these things is not actually a thing, He’s a person. Jesus gives us the opportunity to change every moment. He doesn’t wait until the first of the year, the first of the month, the first of the week, or the beginning of a day. He restores hope, relationship, vision, the truth about who we actually are, at any moment we ask Him to. He doesn’t just blanket over things that have caused us to lose sight of our future, He heals it and we actually start with a fresh snow fall all over again.
Don’t allow the hope of great things for your life fade with any ‘mess ups’ that happened in the early days of the year. Grab hold of the truth Jesus brings and allow Him to encourage you every minute of everyday!